10 April 2009

Nigeria: Aziza Bags Okpe Chieftaincy Title

The Orodje of Okpe, Orhue 1, has conferred former Communications Minister, Major General Patrick Aziza (rtd), with the chieftaincy title of Aziza (Forest that invokes the Hurricane) of the kingdom.

Major General Aziza was honoured for his meritorious service to Okpe Kingdom and Nigeria generally.

Born in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on December 23, 1947, Major Aziza had his primary education in Idah, Makurdi and Keffi, and later proceeded to Ibadan for his secondary education.

After the civil war, which he fully participated in, Aziza was sent to Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) and was a regular member of Course 4.

He graduated in 1970 and commissioned 2nd lieutenant and was promoted lieutenant same year before being posted to the famous and dreaded 3rd Marine Commando.

In 1971, he sat for the lieutenant/captain promotional examination where he came out in flying colours.

Aziza was appointed ADC by then Chief of Army Staff, Major General David Ejoor and proceeded in 1974 to Advanced School of Infantry in Fort Benning, U.S. for a 12-month advance military course.

Upon return to Warri as Commander of the Battalion, a position he held for 12 months, the former communications minister, who was also an ex-military administrator of Kebbi and Lagos states, was promoted Major and posted to Kano as Brigade major.

Aziza enrolled at Command and Staff College, Jaji, in 1978, completed the course a year later and was posted to Army Headquarters as as Grade 2 officer in charge of movement and planning.

He also handled planning of the movement of Nigerian troops in the United Nations' operations, UNIFIL, in Lebanon.

To crown his military service, Aziza served in the elite Provisional Ruling Council (PRC), the highest ruling body during the military era in Nigeria.

In 1989, he was appointed the first military administrator of Kebbi State and later acting military administrator of Lagos State.

Aziza, who served as communications minister in General Sani Abacha's regime, also became the Minister of Trade and Tourism during the regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Upon return to democratic governance in the country, Aziza retired after serving the nation in different capacities for over three decades.

At present, he is the 1st vice president-general of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) and was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Ajaguna of Okukuland by the Olokuku of Okuku Kingdom, Osun State.

Aziza also has in his kitty the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) award conferred on him by the federal government.

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